Tuesday, 30 September 2008

We're off to see the Wizard...

Well it may be a dreary rainy day but our lunch break was full of glitz and glamour as we went to the Theatre Royal Brighton for a sneak preview of their fabulous Christmas musical The Wizard of Oz.

Brighton is breaking with tradition by having a musical instead of a pantomime and I for one am delighted, as personally I have never been a fan of pantos, what with all the 'it's behind you' nonsense and the Butlins-esque audience participation element either.

This afternoon we were treated to a couple of songs followed by a Q&A session with Tim Flavin who is acting, directing and choreographing the show, and at one point he did stray into a slight rant about the current state of celebrity, as when he first started thirty years ago if you wanted to be a musical theatre star you had to undergo years of training and then several years gaining experience in order to work your way up to the best parts, however nowadays he is losing roles to people because they have appeared in the Big Brother house or some other drivel. When you think about it is ludicrous, in what other profession would you get away with hiring someone with no qualifications, just because they have been on telly.

So you will be pleased to hear there are no reality tv stars or other non-entities in this production only people who are actually qualified to do the job, including a lot of local talent in particular Bruce Montague who is probably best known as Leonard from Butterflies (although personally speaking Russel was my favourite) will be appearing as the Wizard, there will also be lots of special effects so you'll still get to see the twister, a witch melting before your eyes and of course the flying monkeys!

Although while this is a professional cast there is space for one enthusiastic amateur within the ensemble, as Toto will be played by a real dog and they will be holding open auditions at the Theatre Royal Brighton on Saturday 11th October from 10 - 12pm, although there are some restrictions as it will need to be a smallish dog who can fit into Dorothy's basket so apologies to anyone with a St Bernard seeking fame! The play closely follows the plot and style of the film so they would be keen to find a dog similar to that one, and obviously one that doesn't mind being picked up by people, so if you think your little pooch could be a star then bring them along.

So if you want a Christmas outing with a difference then come to Brighton, although be quick as tickets are selling fast, in fact some shows have already sold out, so be sure to get yours soon. Tickets can either be booked online, by phone or in person at the Theatre Royal Brighton


Monday, 29 September 2008

Think Ya Used Enough Dynamite There, Butch?

'Once you've seen your face on a bottle of salad dressing, it's hard to take yourself seriously.'

So said possibly one of the big screens nicest and most philanthropic stars. Paul Newman passed away this weekend, leaving a legacy of films and charity work behind him. Proof that not all stars are so big for their boots they need a size 12 just to get out of bed, even conservative Muslim Iran, which would not usually concern itself with reporting on a Western film star, marked his death. Not only the 'King of Cool', he was also a humanitarian who gave and raised millions for charity.

Surely, unless the last drip of emotion has been wrung screaming from you, you can't fail to become at a least a little glassy eyed at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

So if you're feeling a bit nostalgic for films of old, why not check out our VisitBrighton Movie Map? Paul Newman doesn't appear but the loveable Woody Allen does!

From 60s cult classic Quadrophenia to wartime romance End of the Affair, many films have been set or partly shot in key locations around Brighton & Hove, so why not re-live the glitz and glamour of film production old and new?

And with one of Newman's daughters saying that she wanted her father to be remembered for his charity work, if you want to find out more about some of his work outsdie film see here.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Brighton Walks

Well, having just got back from a week on the Camino de Santiago (a long pilgrim walk in Spain that wends its merry way to, well funnily enough, Santiago) I got thinking about the various walks in Brighton. OK, so there is nothing quite equivalent to an 800 KM trek through the Pyrenees and lots of little Spanish pueblos, but there are actually loads of walks to do in and around the city.

It's just one of the things that makes Brighton so great - the unique mix of city life with lots of countryside and green spaces sitting quite literally on the doorstep.

Here are a few ideas:

The Undercliff Walk - a 3 mile (5km) walk from Black Rock to Saltdean. A popular and scenic coastal walk, the area is also a site of special historical and geological interest, with fossils of mammoths, whooly rhinos and even hippos discovered there over the years. Regular bus services and the Volks Railway both go to Black Rock.

VisitBrighton Movie Map - From the intense noir of Brighton Rock to the wartime emotions of End of the Affair and the latest offering from comedic giant Woody Allen, many films have been set or partly shot in key locations around Brighton & Hove. Re-live the glitz and glamour of film production old and new in Brighton with our Movie Map.

Take a walk in Stanmer Park - Named one of Britain's Top 10 walks by the Independent newspaper, take a wander around the beautiful Stanmer Park and discover The Horseshoe, Wilkin's Folly and Pudding Bag Wood.

Take a walk in the Brighton countryside - Did you know there are over 14,000 acres of countryside in Brighton and the surrounding areas? That's a lot of walking! And a great antidote to the bustle of city life.

Take a Brighton MP3 walking tour with Cool City Walks or Tourist Tracks and see the great city sites at your own pace.

Happy walking!


Thursday, 18 September 2008

Elephants in Brighton

No that isn't a misprint, we have actually spotted a herd of Elephants in Brighton ... well obviously not real ones as I am pretty certain that would convene some kind of health and safety regulation. These are life-sized topiary elephants who have taken up residence in the Royal Pavilion Gardens until Tuesday 30th September

The Elephants have been on tour around the UK and Ireland raising awareness of the fact that Asian elephants are being marooned as trees are felled to make way for roads, railways, villages and industry. The suggestion is to build an elephant corridor that would connect habitable areas to help keep herds together.

Brighton is the last stop on their tour, although I think they look great and would love to keep them here after all these are Asian elephants and the Royal Pavilion does have an Indian design so I'm sure they'd be happy here :) Anyway pop down and visit them while you can


Winter in Brighton

I'm sorry I have been rather neglecting you all recently, the reason for this is that we have been working on a lovely Winter Guide, mainly telling people about the fantastic events happening between October - December but also including information about staying in Brighton & Hove, eating and drinking, shopping as well as a handy map and events diary.

So this week we have been busy proof-reading and fact checking, debating over whether each apostrophe was in the right place and that sort of thing. Fingers crossed we have spotted everything but it is always possible that something has slipped through the net. Anyway I've very excited about it and think the finished product will be fabulous. You'll have to wait until October to see the finished article, they will be appearing in visitor information centres across the South East as well as in train stations and workplaces in London. Although we wouldn't want anyone to feel left out so there will be an online version for people to download as well.

However I think it is safe for me to give you a sneak preview of the front cover as at least then you will know what to look out for!

Hope you like it, although being honest I don't actually want to know if you don't! Anyway that is it for now although I will be back tomorrow to tell you what has been stampeding across the Royal Pavilion Gardens...


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Get your knitting needles ready...

Working in Marketing I receive quite a few press releases, and having worked here a couple of years you kind of know what to expect, for example I've had some recently about the Early Music Festival and the Art Fair. However sometimes one will come through that surprises you, as I have just learnt that in October it is knitting week!

Although this isn't good enough for Hove, no we are so excitied about it that we are going to have a whole knitting month! Didn't I tell you we always like to do things differently here. Apparently one in five people can knit, I remember Grandma trying to teach me years ago but I'm not sure if I'd be able to now, although that does mean a couple of people in this office should be able to.

In order to celebrate the Hove Museum will have a host of events and workshops for beginners, novices and experts so they'll be something to suit you whether you've never picked up a needle before or if you never leave the house without one. There will also be some exhibits to inspire you, including knitted fruit and vegetables made by the local Stitch 'n' Bitch group as well as this knitted coral reef by Ildiko Szabo:

Which reminds me to add that it is currently the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival and this weekend they have the Live Food Show and The Taste of Sussex Festival Market on Jubilee Street. You may be wondering what the link is between knitting and the Food Festival, well here is the logo for this year's Festival, designed by Cardigan which was set up by lovely local artist Kate Jenkins:


Friday, 5 September 2008

Check out the VisitBrighton online game!

With multiple wins at the Loo of the Year Awards, Brighton officially has the best public loos in England!

But dastardly doings are afoot to make them grubby!

Help us keep them sparkling clean with our online game & you could win a break at Brighton's fabulous snooze hotel.

Will you be 'Flushed With Success' or will Trish the toilet attendant be coming at you with her mop!?'

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Win Wizard of Oz tickets at Brighton Theatre Royal

We're giving things away again at VisitBrighton! So if you fancy a trip down the yellow brick road, simply tell us what you think of visitbrighton.com, by completing our simple website questionnaire and you could win a family ticket for THE WIZARD OF OZ at Brighton Theatre Royal.

Top West End performers
This brand new production, directed by award-winning musical star Tim Flavin, is packed with a cast of top-class West End musical performers and songs from the MGM classic, including We’re Off To See The Wizard, Follow The Yellow Brick Road and Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Pop on your ruby slippers
So, pop on your ruby slippers, click your heels three times and complete our website questionnaire for a chance to win.